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USCCB: pray, fast for no religious discrimination in disaster relief

Catholic World News - August 30, 2013

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and abstain from meat on August 30 for the following intention: “for those who provide aid in times of tragedy, that they may help all those in need, regardless of their religious beliefs.”

“In [Hurricane] Sandy’s aftermath, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which provides financial assistance to a wide array of nonprofit institutions, has excluded aid for houses of worship,” according to a USCCB reflection that accompanied the intention. “This discrimination against religious institutions stems from a flawed interpretation of the separation of church and state.”

In December 2012, the US bishops announced a call to prayer and penance whose “overall focus is to invite Catholics to pray for rebuilding a culture favorable to life and marriage and for increased protections of religious liberty. Campaign components include monthly Eucharistic holy hours in cathedrals and parishes, daily family rosary, special Prayers of the Faithful at all Masses, fasting and abstinence on Fridays, and the second observance of a Fortnight for Freedom.”

The Friday prayer and fasting intentions change weekly; the links below describe how to receive the intentions in advance, typically on the afternoon of the previous day.

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